The Celtics hit South Beach Tuesday to take on the Miami Heat for the third time this season. The season series sits at a game a piece and the Celtics can really grab hold of the NBA with yet another win over the Heat in the last few weeks.
The Celtics sit at 32-24 on the season. Ironically, even with how great the Celtics have played at times, it’s their worst record through 59 games since the 2006-2007 season. The Celtics may not be the team they were at the height of the Big Three, but they are a team forcing their way into the upper echelon of the NBA.
Kind of insane considering the the rash of injuries, age and two heart surgeries the Celtics have had to deal with over the span of this condensed 66-game season.
Kevin Garnett has reemerged as a premier player since moving to center and Ray Allen has found new life as the first man off the bench leading a surprisingly effective second unit.
The Celtics are 17-7 since the All-Star break and have won seven of their last nine games.
While the Celtics are the likely feel good story of the year, they are still a flawed team toeing the line of greatness and old age. The team does enough to win and has to continue the theme of total team effort in order to make a legitimate run deep into the playoffs.
The Heat are a familiar foe and the connections run deep:
Mario Chalmers and Paul Pierce both attended the University of Kansas.
Celtics Head Coach Doc Rivers and Dwyane Wade both attended Marquette University.
Jermaine O’Neal played for the Heat during the end of the 2008-09 season and all of the 2009-10 season.
Chris Bosh and Jermaine O’Neal were teammates in Toronto during the 2008-09 season.
Dexter Pittman and Avery Bradley were teammates at the University of Texas.
Sasha Pavlovic and LeBron James were teammates in Cleveland from 2004-09.
Keyon Dooling played for the Heat during the 2004-05 season.
Juwan Howard and Ryan Hollins were teammates in Charlotte during the 2008-09 season.
Ronny Turiaf and Mickael Pietrus both play for the French national team.
Random series stat time:
All-Time Record vs. Miami: 56-37 (.602)
All-Time Home Record: 30-15 (.667)
All-Time Road Record: 26-22 (.542)
Current Streak: One Celtics win
Current Streak at Home: Eight Celtics Wins
Current Streak on Road: Two Heat Wins
Record against Miami since 2006-07: 15-5
Largest Celtics Win: 30 points, 117-87 (1/29/08)
Largest Heat Win: 31 points, 111-80 (12/11/93)
Single Game Celtic High Scorer: Reggie Lewis – 42 pts (4/12/91)
Single Game Heat High Scorer: Alonzo Mourning – 45 pts (2/3/96)
Longest Celtic Win Streak: 10 games (11/15/88 – 3/6/91)
Longest Heat Win Streak: 9 games (3/24/96 – 3/31/98)